Volunteer Co-Ordinators Newsletter & Updates

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The Volunteer Co-Ordinators group is a peer network of volunteer co-ordinators and managers from around Southampton.

I belong to a couple of different forums, and one discussion that has got everybody involved these past weeks is on the basis of rewarding volunteers.

As some of you will know, there have been some court cases in the past around volunteering and actions that under law mean that "consideration" of employment can be implied and thus minimum wage paid for the hours they have done. So from the conversations we've had this week I've put together a few quick do's and don't.


  • Hold celebration events for all volunteers
  • Nominate for the 100 Hours Certificate Scheme
  • Get your CEO to sign thank you cards
  • Have a volunteer celebration wall in your office
  • Arrange with local businesses to provide discounts to volunteers - you cannot pay for this!
  • Provide certificates to show they can complete certain tasks - available to all but great for those seeking employment
  • Thank them in a newsletter or annual review - mention the contribution they make
  • Offer to provide references
  • Offer any payment except for out of pocket expenses - this includes gift vouchers.
  • Single out volunteers - everyone should be invited to and celebrated at an event
  • Don't just celebrate the time people have given - a volunteer who can only give an hour a week should feel as valued as a volunteer who can give 10
  • forget to say thank you - it can go a long way!
  • Don't forget to include volunteers in the decision making process - especially if changes will effect their work.

Happy New Year! (Can I still say that...?)

Now Christmas seems like a distant dream and we're back into the order of every day life I guess everyone is making plans for their volunteers this year. We've got some exciting things planned too which will enfold over the course of the year.

Our new website is live and working well! Remember if you want us to promote an opportunity for you, go to the Register an Opportunity page on our website. Over 100 application in January, which is great - if you've received volunteer information from us we'd really appreciate your feedback.

Our volunteer fair went ahead on the 3rd February (thus the slight delay in Januarys mailing) a big thank you to everyone who attended. I hope everyone got a few volunteers signed up - and WestQuay is always a great place to get your charity seen by lots of people. I'm hoping to find an alternative location for our second fair of the year in the summer - but more news of that to come in following newsletters.

Volunteer Coordinators Forum!

This years dates have been set for this year! The first three will be based at SVS and then I will confirm the location of Decembers closer to the time.

So... Get your diaries out.

7th March 10am - 12pm
7th June 10am - 12pm
7th September 10am - 12pm
7th December 10am - 12pm

I hope you can see a theme... in the dates :)
Following feedback from the forum in December - we're going to focus this year on a lot more Peer to Peer learning. So we may ask you to bring things long with you to show and share for each forum - also things you're having trouble with and would like help from the group.

If you would like to attend the meeting it is important that you book your place - attendance is completely free but we do need to know how many people we're arranging workshops etc for. So please book on to March's by clicking here.

Friday Forums

On the first Friday of every month (mostly) we run a forum here at SVS this covers a multitude of different topics. The day is set up so there is a session in the morning 11am, then a networking lunch (bring your on sandwiches and we'll provide the tea and coffee) between 12:30 - 13:15 and then a second session 13:15 - 14:45.

In March our focus will be on Older People - so if your group works with or supports older people please come along - or if you just want to find out more. More information can be found here in the upcoming weeks.
Articles from the web...
So... Here is what I've found interesting this month. 

Big Volunteer Campaign - The Big Lottery fund are having a campaign about getting people involved in volunteering this year. This article from the NCVO covers not only the idea behind the campaign but also some useful links on volunteering - recruiting, retaining volunteers etc

Cost, Value & Austerity - I think I link to Rob Jackson every month - well... he does call his blog the Voice of Volunteering. This is an interesting one however with a link to a study that shows that organisations who cut funding to their volunteer program performed less well on other measures than those that didn't. 

Doctors to prescribe volunteering? It's well known that volunteering can have a positive effect not only on your mental and physical health. Many studies have show this over the years. I have to say that more recently at my drop in's I've had people say that their doctor has suggested they volunteer. What do you think? Is this a positive thing for the sector? 

Free Toolkit! Something I always say to potential volunteers when they are concerned about criminal records is that it shouldn't stop them from volunteering - of course I cannot provide any firm advice on the subject, I can tell them if a DBS check will be applicable but generally encourage them to be honest and open about any offender history. Our lovely counterparts in Leeds have come up with this toolkit for VIO's to help with concerns around DBS, safeguarding, risk assessments etc. 

Motivational Interviewing Level 1
This free Course provides skills & techniques for those who may already have some behaviour change experience with clients. MI is a collaborative rather than prescriptive approach to communicating with adults and young people and has proven effectiveness around behaviour change.
Course Info
Booking form

Alcohol - A Brief Intervention
This course will cover:
·         The basic facts about alcohol and alcohol harm
·         How to use the alcohol screening tool
·         The principles of brief interventions and the skills and techniques needed to raise this topic with clients.

Course & Booking Info

DASH Masterclass - Hampton Trust will enable participants to use the DASH risk assessment model to identify standard, medium and high risk cases of domestic abuse, stalking & harassment and HBV. 


Responding to Domestic Violence and Abuse and it's impact on Children and Young People - PIPPA

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